How to Increase Meeting Attendance

How to Increase Meeting Attendance

The number one reason that evangelistic meetings fail is because the church assumes that presenting information is enough to secure meaningful presentations. Far too often, we hear people saying, “Well, they’ve been told. It’s up to them whether or not they accept the truth!”

True, it is up to the individual to accept or reject the truth. But even a cursory study of the methods of Jesus will demonstrate that it is not enough to merely mention the truth out loud. Evangelism is about people. It means engaging them where they are and ministering to their needs.

It is easy to tell which evangelists are going to succeed. The ones who preach and make a beeline for their car generally fail. The ones who head to the door to greet people after the meeting—the ones who linger until the last guest leaves—those are the soul-winners.

When a minister has presented the gospel message from the pulpit, his work is only begun. There is personal work for him to do. He should visit the people in their homes, talking and praying with them in earnestness and humility. There are families who will never be reached by the truths of God’s Word unless the stewards of His grace enter their homes and point them to the higher way. (Gospel Workers, p. 187)

To my ministering brethren I would say, By personal labor reach the people where they are. Become acquainted with them. This work cannot be done by proxy. Money loaned or given cannot accomplish it. Sermons from the pulpit cannot do it. Teaching the Scriptures in families,—this is the work of an evangelist, and this work is to be united with preaching. If it is omitted, the preaching will be, to a great extent, a failure. (Gospel Workers, p. 188)

If half the time now spent in preaching, were given to house-to-house labor, favorable results would be seen. Much good would be accomplished, for the workers could come close to the people. The time spent in quietly visiting families, and when there speaking to God in prayer, singing His praise, and explaining His Word, will often do more good than a public effort. Many times minds are impressed with tenfold more force by personal appeals than by any other kind of labor. The family that is visited in this way is spoken to personally. The members are not in a promiscuous assembly where they can apply to their neighbors the truths which they hear. They themselves are spoken to, earnestly, and with a kindhearted solicitude. They are allowed to express their objections freely, and these objections can each be met with a Thus saith the Lord.” If this work is done in humility, by those whose hearts are imbued with the love of God, the words are fulfilled, The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” (Evangelism, p. 463)

As with the other components of your meeting, it is essential to plan a visitation program carefully and execute it faithfully. The Voice of Prophecy team generally assembles all of the pastors and volunteer visitors on the first Monday morning of a campaign. We systematically read through the names of every person who has attended the meetings—and we say each name out loud. It can be time-consuming (up to eight hours if you have a couple thousand guests), but it is one of the most important exercises you can engage in near the beginning of the campaign.

Read through all the names as a team, including guests who have labeled themselves Seventh-day Adventists at registration. (Some who identify as Adventists may have never been baptized; others may have lapsed but have shown up for the meetings. There may be others who have been taking the Discover lessons and already identify as Adventists, but have not actually joined the church.)

Your task is to assess each name carefully. As you read them aloud, ask if anyone knows the individual you have just mentioned. If they do, assign the name to their team. If no one knows the individual, ask which of your visitation teams would like to visit them.

Never assign names randomly or by zip code. You want to ensure that the person making the visit actually wants to, and doesn’t have so many names that keeping up with visitation becomes impossible. There is something about requesting a name that compels a person to be faithful about following up.

When the names have all been read and assigned, it is time to hit the streets. You have approximately one week to 10 days to make friends with everyone coming to your meeting. If you fail to make personal contact, you will find the decision process much more difficult later on—but you will find friends are willing to ask honest questions and raise genuine concerns. They are more likely to continue attending, while strangers will simply disappear the moment they hit a speed bump in their experience.

The Voice of Prophecy team typically meets every day that does not have an evening meeting—usually every Monday and Thursday. We review the names, assign any new ones, and report on how things are progressing. We pray over the names as well.

Additionally, we often plan a Sabbath afternoon meeting with all of the Bible workers/visitation volunteers prior to the seminar meeting. Not everyone who volunteers will be able to meet on a Monday or Thursday morning, so the Sabbath afternoon meeting (around 4-5 p.m.) allows you to review the visits of the past week, answer questions, and give instructions for the next week.

How to Generate Bible Study Interests

How to Generate Bible Study Interests

There are really only 3 ways to get a Bible study. You can: (1) ask in the morning; (2) ask in the afternoon; or (3) ask in the evening. In other words, you’ll rarely if ever get a Bible study unless you ask for one. So just ASK! makes it easy to ask people personally, which produces by far the best results. You can also ask through various advertising methods. Below you’ll find a list of ways to generate Bible study interests using

  1. Church Services and Events – Visitors who attend your church services or ministry events are often interested in Bible studies. By pointing them to, you can offer Bible studies to everyone who visits your church with a simple, non-intimidating question: 

“Have you heard about our Bible school?”

Church members don’t have to be study leaders to tell guests about the Bible school. Anyone can highlight the resources and study options available with by directing them to the church’s BSO resource center (see “How to Setup Your Bible School,” #9, p. 15 of this manual). Enthusiastically tell guests about these resources; let them know they can study them on their own or with a study coach; show them how to sign up using the church signup card, website, or phone number; and be sure to let them know there is also a set of children’s lessons available for the young people in their lives!

  • Ask People You Know – You can offer Bible studies using to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and other acquaintances. Simply ask the question:

“Have you heard about”

Give them a sample pack, public display card, pocket tract, or business card, and say:

“It’s a ministry run by my church that offers free Bible study resources. You can get study guides and videos on over 20 topics. People love them because they bring together the most relevant Bible verses on a variety of topics so you can know what the Bible really says. You can study with a study coach – which is how I’m involved – or on your own. Do you think you’d be interested in something like that?”

An alternate method uses the principle of gaining trust by asking for a favor, just like Jesus when He asked the woman at the well for a drink (see John 4):

“It’s a ministry run by my church that offers free Bible study resources. You can get study guides and videos on over 20 topics. Anyway, they’ve asked me to be a study leader but I’d really like to get some experience by studying with someone I know. Would you be willing to go through some studies with me?”

If your friends shows interest, offer to study with them and determine which study resource they would like to use. If they say they’re too busy or seem otherwise uninterested, respond by saying:

“That’s no problem. I totally understand! Why don’t you hang on to this [pocket tract/card/sample pack] and when you get a chance, check out the website. You can sign up there for the free studies anytime.”

  • Share Using Technology – Using the Miscellaneous Graphics Package in our downloadable digital resources, you will find pre-formatted graphics that make it easy to offer Bible studies by sharing over social media, text, or email. Included on the website is also a promotional video designed for sharing. 
  • Church Member Advertising – Even when not personally offering studies, church members can generate interest with advertising materials. Pocket tracts and business cards can be left at restaurants, gas pumps, hotels, and stores. Public display cards can be set up with permission in many doctor, dentist, auto mechanic, hairstylist, laundromat, and business office waiting rooms. Vehicle stickers can be also be used to advertise, along with the great gear like t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, mugs, etc., available through the BSO website.
  • Door-to-door Outreach – A time-tested way to find Bible study interests is by simply going door-to-door telling people about When using this method, it is true that the greater percentage of people will not show an interest. Still, because you meet so many people in such a short amount of time, there is a good chance that you’ll find a few who are interested. And when the whole church is organized for door-to-door outreach, it is a quick and effective way to find multiple Bible study interests. For example, if you found only one person interested for every 10 you contacted, and you had 5 groups in your church who could contact 10 homes in an hour, then in one short afternoon your church could generate 5 Bible studies!

Wearing name badges when going door-to-door can express that you represent a larger organization, increasing trust with some people. A file formatted to print a name badge insert sheet, consisting of four 3” x  4” inserts on an 8 ½” x 11” page—each containing the logo—is available for download in the “Resources” tab of the Coordinator Panel of the website. There is a Word document file, in which you can type the names before printing, and a PDF file, in which you print the page “as is” and neatly write in the names. In either case, you will need name badges that hold 3” x 4” inserts (NOT 4” x 3”) with lanyards. 

It’s ideal, when going door-to-door, to go with a partner. It can also be beneficial for a young person or child to join you as this brings down people’s defenses, as well as giving the young person an experience in personal soulwinning. Bring along several sample packs (see “How to Setup Your Bible School,” #8, p. 16 of this manual), along with some business cards and pocket tracts (these can all be ordered by coordinators in the “Store” tab of the their Control Panel of the website). Those with experience using religious surveys when going door-to-door may choose to offer the study options at the conclusion of the survey. Or, you may choose to use a short and direct canvass such as the following:

“Hi, my name is —–, and this is —–, and we’re passing out flyers about [Give public display card or tract.] Have you heard of us? [Wait for response.] Okay, well it’s a free offer for Bible studies. We have prophecy studies, topical studies, and children’s studies. The prophecy studies go over what the Bible says about the end times, and include DVD presentations that cover the same topics. The topical series goes over things like Why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world, God’s plan of salvation, What happens when people die, How to live a fuller life, and things like that. The children’s lessons are like the topical ones, only designed for a younger audience. Do any of these sound like something you’d be interested in?”

If the person says “Yes,” let them know the two study options:

“We currently have two study options. We can drop off a couple study guides for you each week for you to go through on your own, or we can arrange for a study coach to go over the lessons with you. Which one would work better for you?” 

Note: If the person conducting the survey will also be the study coach, they would just say “We can drop off a couple study guides for you each week for you to go through on your own, or we can come by and go over the lesson with you personally.” Also, if the person at the door is of the opposite sex, the study coach needs to take someone of that same sex when he or she returns to give the study.

If they show interest in studying with a coach, respond with

“Great! The lessons generally take about an hour to complete. We just need to find a time in your schedule that works for you. When is the best time to come by?” 

Take note of their answer on the signup card, and leave the presentation folder with them, saying

“I know you’re going to love these lessons! Let me leave this with you so you can get started filling out the first lesson, and I [or “a study coach”] will be by [at the time discussed in the previous step].” 

This is a great time to offer a short prayer before leaving. Keep it short, simple and positive, by saying something like

“Let me pray with you before I go. Lord, I want to thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to meet today. Please bless my friend ________ and his/her home, [and family, if applicable], and guide us both as we prepare to study the Bible together. We thank you for your love and mercy, and we pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Conclude by saying something like

“I hope you have a wonderful day, and I look forward to seeing you next ____________.”

As soon as possible after leaving, be sure to sign them up for the “Study with a coach” option using the website or a church signup card. 

If the person would rather have you drop off the lessons for the “Study on my own” option, you would want to respond by saying

“That’s great! I know you’re going to love these lessons!” [If you haven’t already done so, hand them a presentation folder and say] “Let me leave this with you so you can get started filling out the first lesson.”

As with the previous example, take this opportunity to pray with them before leaving. Keep it short, simple and positive, by saying something like

“Let me pray with you before I go. Lord, I want to thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to meet today. Please bless my friend ________ and his/her home, [and family, if applicable], and bless [him or her] as [he or she] studies Your Word. We thank you for your love and mercy, and we pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Leave the presentation folder with them, and be sure to sign them as soon as possible for the “Study on my own” option using the website or a church signup card up.

If they don’t express interest in either study option, leave a business card or tract with them and say

“I understand. Here, let me leave you with this [pocket tract or card], and when you get a chance, check out the website. You can sign up anytime with no cost or obligation.” 

For each person who expressed interest in the studies, it is essential that you record their names and contact information the best time to study or reach them, and the study option they have chosen. Read from the next section of this manual, “Study Leader Training,” to obtain further details on how to set up and conduct the study based on whichever study option was chosen. For any study interests that were signed up at the door, be sure to enter their names, contact information, the best time reach them, and the study option they have chosen on the website when you sign them up. Or, if you don’t have access, be sure to fill out this information on a church signup card, and give the completed church signup cards to one of your church’s Study leaders or your Bible school coordinator so that these can be officially recorded on 

Finally, at homes where you find no one home, leave a tract or display card in the door jam or on the front porch (do not leave tracts inside the mailbox—this is illegal in the United States).

  • Mailings – One of the quickest ways to find potential Bible study interests is to do a large postcard mailing to homes around your church. Call Seminars Unlimited at 817-641-3643to order a mailing. This can be done by zip codes, mail routes, or by choosing a radius around your church (by distance or quantity). You can also order a supply of large postcards from Seminars Unlimited with the address area left blank. These can then be hand-addressed and mailed to church interests or inactive members. 
  • Mass Advertising – If you really want to increase awareness of, kick off a mass advertising campaign complete with billboards, radio ads, and Internet or social media advertising. Multiple methods of advertising tend to give more credibility to the ministry in your area and increase interest significantly. We currently have two radio ads, one 13-second ad and one 30-second ad, available for download. COMING SOON, we will have a standard highway billboard graphic (14’ x 48’) and other free graphics available for download as well.

BSO Update September 7, 2022

BSO Update September 7, 2022

The re-launch of is just around the corner! The majority of the print materials are completed (as reported in the last newsletter), and the final refinements are being made to the website. We are meeting this coming week to discuss more efficient online marketing strategies. We fully expect that by the release of next month’s newsletter, we will be sharing detailed steps on how you can relaunch the BSO ministry in your local church.
You can still access this link to a PowerPoint presentation you can use to promote BSO’s updated look and improved features with your church family. Please direct any other questions to or call (517) 316-1511 and we will see if there is a way we can help. God bless you as you continue to spread the good news of His love in your homes, churches, neighborhoods, workplaces and the world beyond!

The Birth of a Blog…

The Birth of a Blog…

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